Obama a Little Too Slick on Oil

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Barack Obama is running an ad in Pennsylvania and Indiana that makes this claim:

I don’t take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists, and I won’t let them block change anymore.

The trusty FactCheck.org points out something Obama ought to know: of course Obama hasn’t gotten money from oil companies; corporations were prohibited from donating to presidential candidates in 1907. But Obama has received $213,000 from people who work for, or whose spouses work for, companies in the oil and gas industry. Also, two oil execs bundle money for Obama. George Kaiser, chairman of Kaiser-Francis Oil, has raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama, according to the candidate’s website. Robert Cavnar, president and CEO of Milagro Exploration LLC, has raised the same.

Is Obama better than McCain when it comes to climate change? Or course, all the Democrats are/were. Have Hillary Clinton and John McCain also raised money from the oil industry? Of course. In fact, they’ve both raised more than Obama.

But Obama is the one making claims of purity. They’re claims he and his campaign must know he shouldn’t be making.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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